Listening to grey seals recite vowel sounds and sing the melodies to Star Wars and 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' makes for excellent entertainment, but for the researchers who trained these aquatic mammals, it’s serious science.The mockingbird, for example, famously mimics the sounds produced by other bird species, and sometimes even noises produced by human activity, like car alarms and police sirens.Some parrots and ravens are really good at imitating human speech but, for the most part, this is an ability that eludes most animals.That’s a shame, because it prevents scientists from studying vocal learning, a trait critical for language acquisition in nonhuman mammals.As new research published this week in Current Biology shows, grey seals appear to be an exception.In a series of tests, these mammals demonstrated a remarkable capacity to copy simple melodies and human formants, suggesting they’re very capable vocal learners.
To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.While Uber and Google driverless cars have been attacked in the US, Europe's best-funded driverless car startup FiveAI has been quietly testing its vehicles in London.FiveAI has presented its non-Silicon Valley underdog status as an advantage in the past, saying it has a head start in Europe where environmental factors are different to the US.The head of Uber's self-driving unit said this month its test cars have encountered "bullying" from pedestrians and road-users alike, including offensive gestures and aggressive driving.Turning a lack of brand recognition into a strength"We haven't had any similar experiences.
Apple released a new iPod Touch for 2019 just a few weeks back.If you already own an iPhone past the iPhone 5, there's no reason to even consider buying the iPod Touch.If, however, you've never owned an iOS device or have in the past and want back in, at $200 the iPod Touch is now the cheapest iOS entry point.In his review of the iPod Touch 2019, my colleague Patrick Holland very clearly lays out why, despite its appeal to certain consumers, most will want to skip the iPod Touch.I've been a stubborn supporter of iOS, and more specifically the Apple App Store, for nearly 11 years, since I bought the iPhone 3G in 2008.There are two simple reasons for that: I like the interface and its evolution, and the game and app selection in the App Store has never disappointed me.
Private text messages between Fox News host Sean Hannity and former chairman of the Trump 2016 campaign Paul Manafort have been unsealed by a federal court and posted online.The 55 pages of texts show the two discuss the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, with Hannity offering guidance and support."If you just ever want to talk, grab dinner, vent, strategize -- whatever, I am here," he texted on Aug. 9, 2017.Except for you and a few others, our side is not engaged," Manafort sent on Aug. 10, 2017."Thank you for your help."Let's eat talk and anything I can do to help," Hannity responded on Aug. 11, 2017.
Smartphones nowadays may not offer much new year over year, but the cameras on them continue to see dramatic improvements.Well, it’s the middle of 2019 and it’s time for an update.First, a quick primer on the camera hardware each of these phones is packing.Huawei said it redesigned the color filter to use RYYB instead of the traditional RGGB, replacing greens for yellow, which lets in more light.It’s still an 8-megapixel lens, but with an f/2.0 aperture and fixed focus, and it sports a wider than usual field of view at 84 degrees.The OnePlus 7 Pro, like Samsung and Huawei’s latest phones, has a triple-camera system that consists of a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 48-megapixel standard with an f/1.6 aperture and OIS, as well as an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture and OIS.
The back and forth between Huawei and the U.S. government continues with the former suing the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bloomberg reported today.The company is suing the agency over telecommunications equipment seized by American officials.According to the lawsuit, Huawei sent the equipment to a California lab in July 2017.The equipment was on its way back to China, the lawsuit stated.The lawsuit alleged there was no export license requirement at the time of the equipment seizure.“Defendants have neither made a licensing determination for the equipment nor even indicated” when the decision will be made.
Scientists at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, have brought us one step closer to "atomic radio" by using an atom-based receiver to make a stereo recording of music streamed into the laboratory—namely, Queen's "Under Pressure."They described their work in a new paper in AIP Advances.So-called "Rydberg atoms" are atoms that are in an especially excited state well above their ground (lowest-energy) state.This makes them extra-sensitive to passing electric fields, like the alternating fields of radio waves.Last September, we reported on the development of a new type of antenna capable of receiving signals across a much wider range of frequencies (more than four octaves) that is highly resistant to electromagnetic interference.Basically, the vapor cell turns into a purely optical radio wave detector with no need for any wires or circuitry and capable of measuring pulsed and modulated RF fields.
Samsung and Apple are reportedly playing hardball over OLED, with the possibility that future iOS or macOS devices could switch to the screen tech as a workaround to avoid millions of dollars in penalty payments.The rumor comes amid longstanding speculation about an OLED MacBook, which would switch from LCD to the same screen technology as is currently used on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.Those rumors started up in earnest back in 2016, though so far Apple’s sole use of OLED on its laptops has been the Touch Bar on certain MacBook Pro configurations.However there’s no shortage of fuel.A patent spotted in early 2018, for example, showed a dual-display MacBook with an OLED virtual keyboard, for example.If the OLED expectations pan out, though, it’s most likely going to be a more straightforward implementation of the display technology, at least at first.
Andrey Savchenko, Professor at the Higher School of Economics (HSE University), has developed a method that can help to enhance image identification on videos.In his project, a network was taught by a new algorithm and can now make decisions on image recognition and classification at a rate 10 times faster than before.This research was presented in the paper 'Sequential three-way decisions in multi-category image recognition with deep features based on distance factor' published in Information Sciences.The neural networks learned to identify humans and animals in videos a long time ago.Artificial neurons can learn by remembering what a certain object looks like in an image.Usually, researchers take an open database of photos (e.g., ImageNet, Places, etc.)
It appears to be the largest such formation yet found in the world.The aquifer stretches from the shore at least from Massachusetts to New Jersey, extending more or less continuously out about 50 miles to the edge of the continental shelf.If found on the surface, it would create a lake covering some 15,000 square miles.The study suggests that such aquifers probably lie off many other coasts worldwide, and could provide desperately needed water for arid areas that are now in danger of running out.The first hints of the aquifer came in the 1970s, when companies drilled off the coastline for oil, but sometimes instead hit fresh water.Starting about 20 years ago, study coauthor Kerry Key, now a Lamont-Doherty geophysicist, helped oil companies develop techniques to use electromagnetic imaging of the sub-seafloor to look for oil.
PSCs which are one of the fastest developing new solar technologies and can achieve efficiencies comparable to more commonly used commercially available silicon solar cells.For the first time, an international team of clean chemistry researchers led by Professor Joseph Shapter and Flinders University, has made very thin phosphorene nanosheets for low-temperature PSCs using the rapid shear stress of the University's revolutionary vortex fluidic device (VFD)."Silicon is currently the standard for rooftop solar, and other solar panels, but they take a lot of energy to produce them."We've found exciting new way to convert exfoliated black phosphorus into phosphorene which can help produce more efficient and also potentially cheaper solar cells," says Dr Christopher Gibson, from the College of Science and Engineering at Flinders University."Our latest experiments have improved the potential of phosphene in solar cells, showing an extra efficiency of 2%-3% in electricity production."Research into making high quality 2D phosphorene in large quantities- along with other future materials such as graphene - are paving the way to more efficient and sustainable production with the use of the SA-made VFD, near-infrared laser light pulses, and even an industrial-scale microwave oven.
Mozilla has patched its Firefox browser for a second time in response to a spearphishing campaign targeting employees of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, ZDNet reports.According to ZDNet, hackers have been attempting to phish Coinbase staff with emails containing links to malicious websites.If links were clicked when using Firefox, it would automatically download and run malware on the system, stealing browser passwords and other sensitive data.Selena Deckelmann, senior director for Firefox browser engineering, previously told Hard Fork: “On Monday, June 17, 2019, Coinbase reported a vulnerability used as part of targeted attacks for a spear phishing campaign.In less than 24 hours, we released a fix for the exploit.”Firefox‘s version 67.0.4 fixes a separate “zero-day” vulnerability used as a “sandbox escape” when exploiting the flaw disclosed on Monday.
Missing You is an ode to Nancy Wheeler (played by Natalia Dyer) and her secret yearning for Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) while she's with her boyfriend Steve (Joe Keery).Jealous, meanwhile, reflects on the moment Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) uses her powers to push new girl Max (Sadie Sink) off her skateboard.Stranger Songs marks a stylistic evolution for Michaelson from her trademark brand of indie and folk-pop music in which her voice and melodies do much of the heavy lifting.We caught up with Michaelson ahead of the song's release to hear more about how the iconic TV show has provided her with a different lens through which to make music.Is that common for you -- for writing music to start out as writing poetry?And if somebody hadn't seen it I was like: Well, don't watch it, because there might be a fresh perspective that you have that I don't have because you're not tethered to it.
When New York City passed an aggressive set of greenhouse gas-limiting laws in April, the buzz was, rightly, about the ambition of America’s biggest city putting a lid on its climate-changing ways.New York state has picked up the banner, too, putting into law this week a downslope to zero carbon emissions by 2050—the only other state to have a goal like that on the books is (you can guess) California.The Oregon legislature is dancing with the idea, too, assuming the governor can coax back to the capitol all the Republican legislators who are literally hiding so they don’t have to vote.California has a program linked to one in Quebec; after a rocky start, many observers now see it as a qualified success.On the other side of the continent, nine mid-Atlantic states from Maine to Maryland have the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, another qualified success.New York may be next, capping building emissions, monitoring how much electricity and fuel oil they use, and letting those buildings trade emissions credits.
The blackout also extended to Uruguay, which is connected to Argentina’s power grid, and limited parts of Chile.Although the exact cause of the blackout is still being investigated, Argentina experienced heavy rains over the weekend and there is reason to believe that the inclement weather played a starring role in the largest blackout in recent history.Although the United States isn’t likely to see a nationwide blackout like the one that hit Argentina, localized blackouts in the United States have increased in both frequency and duration in recent years.“We need to accept this and do a better job at helping customers and communities survive these growing outages and threats.”Modern electric grids are designed like a web, which helps isolate blackouts as much as possible.If a high-voltage line between generation stations goes down power can be rerouted through other pathways.
To say that the buzz about 5G has created excitement in the telecoms world would be an understatement.After the first commercial networks switched on in North America and Asia, Europe is also caching up quickly.More recently, four 5G licences were awarded in China, the world’s largest mobile market, well ahead of the schedule that has been broadly anticipated.But the world has only seen the beginning of the true 5G, with much more excitement to come in the next few years.However, the commercial networks switched on so far have only offered enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services and used data speed as the key selling point.How do you see the industry move from here?
When André Borschberg started flying as a 15 year old, he didn’t worry about how much fuel he had to burn to get and stay aloft.It has been three years since Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard completed an around-the-world journey in Solar Impulse 2, the sun-powered plane that could stay aloft for days at a time.That aircraft was remarkable but impractical: It had the wingspan of a Boeing 747, but maxed out around 90 mph and its cockpit was so cramped that the pilots (who alternated legs of the journey) used a toilet built into the seat.Where Solar Impulse was a unique flying machine, this one, the Bristell Energic, is a modified version of an aircraft made by the Czech Republic’s BRM Aero.And where Solar Impulse was meant as an over-the-top demonstration of what electric technology can do, the Energic is a training plane, designed to help people learn to fly in the first place.The Energic is powered by a pair of battery packs that add up to 50 kilowatt-hours (a bit less than you get in a Chevy Bolt EV), which can be fully charged in about an hour.
A US city has voted unanimously to pay hackers $600,000 who took over their computer systems via a ransomware attack three weeks ago.Riviera Beach City Council in Florida made the rash decision to pay the hackers, in order to retrieve encrypted data that has prevented 911 dispatchers from being able to enter calls into their computers.IT comes after the east coast American city of Baltimore slowly recovers most of its computers and IT infrastructure after it was crippled by a devastating ransomware attack.The cyber attack struck Baltimore’s computers on 7 May, and after a month, most online city services and 10,000 computers remained crippled.According to the Daily Mail, the council had already voted to spend almost $1 million on new computers and hardware after the hackers crippled the city’s IT systems three weeks ago.It seems the hackers apparently got into the city’s system via a phishing attack, when an staffer clicked on an email link that allowed them to upload malware.
Wanxiang and PlatON Join Forces for Blockchain Infrastructure of New Smart City in China – CointelegraphWhat happened: Chinese automotive component manufacturer Wanxiang has partnered with Hong Kong-based blockchain non-profit organization PlatON to develop data infrastructure for a smart city project in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou dubbed “Wanxiang Innova City.” PlatON’s blockchain technology will be used to track, transfer, and secure sensitive data gathered from resident identification cards, smart equipment, and other devices.One of the use cases for PlatON’s blockchain solution is to monitor driving behavior and use the data to train autonomous driving systems.Why it’s important: Wanxiang, known as the country’s largest auto parts manufacturer, has been an active investor in China’s blockchain space.The automotive giant has pledged to commit $29 billion in the smart city project over the course of the next decade.Innova City is set to be completed by 2025 and is expected to accommodate 90,000 residents.
Vestiaire Collective, a global ecommerce platform for pre-owned luxury fashion items, raised around US$45 million in a funding round led by its CEO and Lazada founder Max Bittner and French investment bank Bpifrance.The company said the new funds will help facilitate the launch of its new technology solutions, underpin its international growth efforts, and sustain its growth momentum in Asia, where it claims to see a 140% growth in gross merchandise value in Q2 2019.According to the French company, 79% of the transactions it generated were cross-border.It recently launched in new markets such as Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Brazil, and Mexico.Vestiaire Collective will also use the funds to expand its global recruitment drive.It claims to have recruited 120 new talents from over 20 nationalities since Bittner took the company’s helm.